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Guilherme Merjam Wins Brazil’s Regional Championship with Rakdos Grief

January 29, 2024
Meghan Wolff

The final weekend of January, almost 200 of the best Magic players from across Brazil gathered in São Paulo for the City Class Games Showdown, Brazil's Regional Championship. It was the culmination of months of qualifying events, and four invitations to Pro Tour Thunder Junction, one invitation to the World Championship at MagicCon Vegas, and the title of Brazil's Regional Champion were all on the line. After eight rounds of Modern followed by a Top 8 playoff, Guilherme Merjam, a longtime staple of the Brazilian Magic scene also known by his handle MtgRastaf, claimed the title and the trophy piloting Rakdos Grief.

Congratulations to Guilherme Merjam, winner of the City Class Games Showdown!

Merjam defeated Rubens Campana, also on Rakdos Grief, in the finals. After the match, Campana took to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, to shout out Merjam, whose decklist he used for the event. "Could not have lost to a nicer guy in the finals. Congrats, @MtgRastaf!" he concluded.

Guilherme Merjam and Rubens Campana play in the finals.

This won't be Merjam's first trip to the Pro Tour. He finished third in the City Class Games Showdown in March 2023, qualifying him for the PT, and also has four Grand Prix Top Finishes to his name. Those GP finishes include taking third in Team Limited at GP Santiago in 2018 with teammates Carlos Romão and Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa.

Congratulations to the Top 8

At the end of eight Swiss rounds of Modern, eight players advanced to the Top 8, including William Araujo, winner of the City Class Games Showdown in November 2023, and Gabriel Fehr, who made the Top 8 of GP Porto Allegre in 2015.

Rakdos Grief dominated the Top 8, with four copies making the cut, while two players piloted Amulet Titan into the Top 8. Golgari Yawgmoth and Izzet Murktide rounded out the Top 8 field.

Top 4 Qualify For The Pro Tour

Congratulations to Rubens Campana, William Bossaneli Araujo, Guilherme Merjam, and Thiago Vieira!

It was a tense quarterfinals at the CCG Showdown, as players vied for a spot in the Top 4 and a Pro Tour invite. In the end, Rubens Campana, William Bossaneli Araujo, Guilherme Merjam, and Thiago Vieira advanced, securing their spots at Pro Tour Thunder Junction in April. We look forward to seeing them represent their region there!

You can see the decklists of the four Pro Tour qualifying players below:

The Modern Post-Ban Metagame

With the December 4th bans of Fury and Up the Beanstalk, Modern players wondered if Rakdos Grief could survive losing one of its key Evoke creatures. In Brazil, at least, the answer was a resounding yes.

While Rakdos Grief was the top pick for the tournament, it accounted for less than 14% of the field, a small portion. However, it was a full half of the Top 8. Temur Rhinos, on the other hand, was the second most-played deck, but failed to put a single copy into the Top 8. Luckily for Rhinos fans, the deck performed significantly better at the Legacy European Championship the same weekend.

Six players in the field were on Hardened Scales, and that deck had a 58.5% match win rate in the Swiss rounds, one of the highest among decks in the metagame. Four-Color Omnath was slightly more popular and was just a fraction of a percent behind Hardened Scales in match win percentage. Modern continues to make room for players to innovate or bring their longtime favorite decks, with "Other" being the true most popular choice at almost 40% of the field.

Congratulations again to this weekend's players on a great tournament of terrific and hard-fought matches and excellent competition. Catch the next City Class Games Showdown during the next Regional Championship cycle!

Find out more about how you can qualify for the Regional Championship and the Pro Tour by visiting here and finding out more from your regional organizer!

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